Who better to flaunt our styles than the women who really wear them?
Members: Sara Karns and Brooke Alowa
Location: Anchorage, AK
Members since: November 2014
Sara is 5’11 and a size 26
Brooke is 5’6 and a size 16/18
Left: Brooke Alowa; Right: Sara Karns
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Sara: I am a mother of a wonderful 2 year old daughter named Jacqueline. I work in human resources for a government agency dealing mainly with conflict resolution. I love to travel and have been to 5 continents (N. America, S. America, Asia, Europe, and Africa). I just bought my first house and am looking forward to a summer filled with gardening and home improvements.
I met my good friend Brooke when I was the Clerk of Court in the small village of Kotzebue Alaska. She was the Magistrate Judge at the court. Brooke and I became fast friends. Our daughters are only 6 weeks apart in age and the best of friends.
Sara in the ABS Mesh Inset Jersey Dress
Brooke: I’m a 39 year old mother of two and I’m an attorney. I recently moved to the big city of Anchorage after 9 years of living in the bush–in the wonderful communities of Nome and Kotzebue, which are not connected to the rest of the state by road. Everything must be flown or barged there, and there is really nowhere to buy clothing. When I moved to Anchorage, I needed a more business-like wardrobe FAST and luckily I found Gwynnie Bee. My kids and I enjoy Alaskan activities like berry picking, camping, snow machining, skiing and fishing.
I was a magistrate judge in Kotzebue, which is a fabulous little Inupiaq hub community located on the Chukchi Sea, above the Arctic Circle. The town is about 3,000 people and everyone knows each other. Sara began working as the Clerk of Court, which is the person who runs the entire courthouse. We hit it off over a shared love of True Blood. Winters are long in Kotzebue, so we grew pretty close over card games, marathon Discovery ID watching, and forays out onto the sea ice to watch the aurora.
Brooke in the MM2 Black and Creme Abyss Dress
Tell us about your GB photo shoot—what was your experience like?
Sara: The photo shoot was amazing. Our photographer Chris and makeup artist Cari were both absolute professionals. I have never felt more beautiful. It was wonderful taking the time away from being a mother and busy professional to get pampered. Our photo shoot was done in some of the most beautiful places in Anchorage. The natural scenery made a beautiful backdrop for the amazing GB clothing.
Sara in the IGIGI Aria Maxi Dress in Tahitian Bliss
Brooke: Our GB shoot was amazing. Christopher Cupp was the photographer, and Cari Leyva our makeup artist for the first shoot. We went to a beloved Anchorage park, Kincaid, which has miles upon miles of heavily wooded trails. In the winter, people ski there, and in the summer, it’s popular for running or biking. Quite common to see moose and sometimes bears. The mosquitos were bad! Then when went to Carr Gottstein Park, right in an Anchorage neighborhood, and we got a great view of Cook Inlet at sunset. It was pretty chilly and Sara and were going barefoot to avoid getting stuck. Our second shoot was my favorite– we went to Flattop, which is a popular hiking spot in the Chugach Mountains just 20 minutes from downtown Anchorage. We were standing on tundra in some serious heels and there was a lot of laughter at my attempts to stand up. I loved the whole experience– I felt very glamorous and I was happy to show off some of my city’s amazing sights.
Brooke in the IGIGI Sylvia Maxi Dress in Peony Allure
How would you describe your sense of style?
Sara: My personal style could be called classic comfortable. I am a huge fan of dresses. I wear them almost daily. I used to wear mostly black and neutral colors, but since joining GB I have branched out into the amazing world of colors! I really enjoy vibrant prints and colors. It is fun mixing the GB dresses with jewelry and other accessories.
Brooke: My personal sense of style is somewhere between classic and flamboyant. I like to look glamorous. My style icons include Maria Callas, Diana Vreeland, Elizabeth Taylor, Siouxsie Sioux and Debbie Harry.
Brooke in the A by Amanda Uprichard Cricket Maxi Dress
Which GB brand is your favorite?
Brooke: I have a LOT of favorite GB brands, but I have to say Taylor Dresses are really great for business wear. They seem cut to flatter and the fabrics are really nice. I like some of edgier stuff from Carmakoma and IGIGI.
Which trends are on your “to-try list” this spring and summer?
Sara: I am in love with maxi dresses. I think summer is the perfect time to add them to my wardrobe. I want to feel like I am taking a vacation to the south of France, even when I am just wearing them in my backyard.
Brooke: Well, I am determined to face my fear of white pants and try out some with one of those longer pastel blazers. I’m also gearing up for wearing up the bold-print scuba knits that are hitting right about the knee. It’s a little out of my comfort zone but what the hell.
Any words of wisdom for the GB community?
Sara: My words of wisdom are to try everything! I have been really surprised that some pieces of clothing I would have never tried on in the store have now become some of my favorite pieces. A perfect example of this is the black and white striped dress that I wore in the photo shoot. I would never have tried this on in the store because of the mesh inserts, but it ended up being a favorite that I just had to buy.
Brooke: Don’t ever feel like you have to apologize for your existence, your size, or your shape. Wear what you want to, how you want to, where you want to. Also, don’t forget the red lipstick. It really pulls an outfit together. Also, for my fellow AK ladies of substance, GB is an amazing service at a reasonable price. It’s nice to not wear clothing held together with duct tape sometimes.
Photography: Chris Cupp